In today’s Things That Make You Go Hmm news: The new animated Jetsons movie, based on the popular Hanna-Barbera TV series, has brought one of Sausage Party’s co-directors, Conrad Vernon, on board to “develop” and probably also to direct the movie.
Since the introduction of the Best Animated Feature Oscar at the 74th Academy Awards in 2002, we’ve seen a steady exponential increase in animated movies over the years. Pixar, and, by extent, Disney, has usually dominated the competition, with eight wins out of ten nominations, followed by DreamWorks and Disney’s animation studio. This year, we have a record 27 movies eligible for the award, and while the Academy can pick only five to nominate, for now it’s anyone’s game.
To date, only one R-rated animated film has ever been nominated for Best Animated Feature Film at the Oscars: Anomalisa, Charlie Kaufman and Duke Johnson’s acclaimed 2015 drama. If execs at Sony Pictures get their way, Sausage Party will become the second R-rated animated film to receive that honor — and according to Sony chief Tom Rothman, they may very well win.
With Sausage Party setting an August box office record this past weekend, that sound you hear is doors across Hollywood opening for R-rated animated movies. This is probably an overdue development. Movies from studios like Pixar and Studio Ghibli have long been praised by people of all ages for the maturity of their themes; it was only a matter of time until someone with a proven track record and a bit of vision — a filthy, filthy vision — pushed animated movies right off into the deep end.
There are two big stories to lead with in this edition of the Weekend Box Office Report and both of them are equally interesting in their own little ways. Let’s start with the positive: Sausage Party now inexplicably holds the record for biggest opening for an animated movie released in August. And now the negative: Suicide Squad dropped a staggering 67% in its second weekend, which…isn’t good.
Sausage Party is the first ever R-rated CG-animated film. Based on a concept Seth Rogen, Jonah Hill and Evan Goldberg first came up with 8 years ago, the film, by definition, is something you have never seen before. It’s raunchy, rowdy and completely insane. Unfortunately, it’s just not very funny.
Where were you when you first found out that Seth Rogen was making an animated movie about sex-crazed foodstuffs? I don’t think it’s too much of an exaggeration to say that this will be the kind of moment that defines a generation. Grizzled old men will sit around campfires and tell bright-eyed children wondrous stories about the Before Time, a time when animated movies were for children and food was just a thing you ate. The world is much different now.